Tornado passes north of La Junta Monday evening

Shortly after 530 p.m., Monday, June 17th a tornado occurred in Otero County.  Information relayed to the National Weather Service Office in Pueblo from the Emergency Manager of the CIty of La Junta, indicates that the tornado started near the La Junta Airport, around 6 miles north of La Junta, and continued east, passing across open country until it lifted north of Bents Fort north of Highway 194.  The tornado lasted around 12 minutes and the path length was around 5 miles.

There was some damage to hangers and other buildings at the airport.  The maximum wind gust measured at the airport near the hangers was 56 mph from the north.  It is likely these were straight-line winds moving south after the tornado had passed to the north. The damage was consistent with EF0 winds.

The damaging straight-line winds moved south across North La Junta and La Junta.  There was evidence of a gustnado along the severe outflow winds.  A gustnado is a fairly brief, low-level circulation which does not connect with the base of the thunderstorm cloud, and therefore, is not a tornado.

When time permits, we will have further information on the episode.

Tom Magnuson, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, NWS Pueblo

Last updated...2 p.m., Tuesday, June 18th.

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